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Are Solar Shingles Worth It?

Is the Cost of Installing Solar Shingles Worth It?

As the need to replace fossil fuel energy sources with renewable energy has grown, so has the availability of renewable power options. And today, there are now more residential solar energy options available to homeowners beyond installing traditional rooftop solar panels. One newer option is solar shingles. Solar shingles are designed to look like traditional roof shingles with a twist – they generate solar energy for your home that can help offset electricity costs. But installation does not come cheap. So, is the cost of solar shingles worth it?

detailed view of curved solar shingles

What is a Solar Shingle?

Simply put, solar shingles are basic roof tiles that contain solar cells. These photovoltaic roof tiles are designed to look more like standard roof shingles in order to improve their aesthetic appearance on homes. Unlike a standard shingle however, solar shingles generate solar energy just as a typical photovoltaic rooftop solar array would.

Solar shingles are quite sturdy, but they are used in place of traditional shingles, so this means that current shingles will need to be torn off and replaced with the solar shingle product.

Solar shingles are designed to last 25-30 years, which is a good timeline to keep in mind when you are calculating costs. Unlike traditional solar panels, solar shingles cannot be easily removed and reconnected if you move, so you need to stay in the same home for a longer duration of time in order to see a return on your investment.

How Much Do Solar Shingles Cost?

The cost of solar shingles varies depending on the manufacturer, the size of your home, and how many solar shingles you need to have installed on your roof. Unlike large solar panels, solar shingles are intentionally designed to have the same look and feel of regular shingles, so many may be needed to cover a roof.

Solar shingles are most effective on south-facing rooftops, so you may be able to cover just a portion of your roof, with traditional shingles on the other side. Still, due to their aesthetics and functionality, the installation of solar shingles will have a higher price tag than regular shingles or rooftop solar panels. In fact, the average installation cost for rooftop solar shingles is between $60,000 – $75,000, compared to a cost of up to $20,000 or more for traditional rooftop solar depending on the size of the system.

Costs may also vary depending on the labor rates for your local solar shingle roofing company. Although the trend of solar shingles is catching on, there are still fewer roofing companies that can install them.

Solar Roof Shingles vs. Community Solar

Similar to rooftop solar panels, there are pros and cons to installing solar shingles on your home. Aside from the initial cost of installation, it is important to check and understand the warranty information so that you are aware of what costs you will be responsible for if any part of the roof fails. Most solar shingles have a lifespan of 25-30 years and will begin producing less power during the last decade of the roof life.

Any homeowner that is exploring how they can offset their energy costs with solar should also look into Community Solar, which has no upfront costs. Unlike rooftop solar options, Community Solar programs do not require any home installation, hence the “no fees” solar option. This opens up solar availability to homeowners, renters, and businesses alike in most cases as well. Community Solar farms like those operated by Clearway Community Solar work by supplying the energy that they produce directly to the power grid, and in return, subscribers receive solar bill credits on their utility bills, helping lower utility charges.

Solar panels with wind turbines and transmission tower

Sustainable Future

Both rooftop and Community Solar options make use of solar energy to help support a more sustainable future and save homeowners money in the process. The choice of which solar option you choose, ultimately comes down to how much upfront money you want to invest and how much maintenance you are willing to take on to support solar energy for your home over the long run.

If you would like to learn more about how you can get involved with Community Solar, contact Clearway today.

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